Help and/or advice on finishing


I have made some one inch hard maple cubes and would like to finish one face natural, and finish the remaining surfaces with a dark stain.
Have about a hundred, and am looking for suggestions on how to keep the dark stain off the face I want to do natural.
Thanks in advance, Ace
Unrelated, but maybe a tip? Working in garage with exterior entry door I frequently open for ventilation. It would blow shut a lot of times and 'scare' me.
Mounted a 1x2 by about 16 inches long about head height to the door using small hinge. Had drilled three holes at various spacing veritcally through which I place a wooden dowel into part of a simple door bolt mounted to door jam.
No more doors slamming shut, and when not in use, simply hinge out of way and pass the dowel through an eye hook screwed into door face.
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Ace wrote:

Could you stain the entire block and then sand one face to remove the stain on that face?
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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am looking for suggestions on how to keep the dark stain off the face I want to do natural.
Perhaps a bit of shellac on the light face, or even a little glue. Sand it down when the dark stuff dries, and have at it.
Unrelated, but maybe a tip? Working in garage with exterior entry door I frequently open for ventilation. It would blow shut a lot of times and 'scare' me.
What you need is a "doorstop". The kickdown one that I use has kept the door from slamming on the cat. Tom
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On Thu, 19 May 2005 22:11:10 GMT, the inscrutable "Ace"

I'd shellac 'em or wax 'em. Perhaps you could soak a paper towel and carefully blot one face.
--snip--

Good tip. I put up a hook and a screw, stretching a rubber band between the two to keep the door in place. Inside the house, I have metal springloaded doorstops/catches on a couple doors to prevent them from slamming.
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spake:

Which of the two you'd choose would depend on the type of 'stain' you choose. And since with maple, the best choice for a 'stain' is more likely a 'dye', there would be some issues with using shellac, if the dye were an alcohol solvent dye. Shellac uses alcohol as its solvent. Inadvertent experimentation on my part yielded less than happy results. A waxy product, perhaps like the Anchorseal turners use, might be a good choice.
I have no experience with water-based dyes and hard maple. Others may.
Patriarch
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Yes, I am reading the answers to my post and appreciate all responses.
I really like the concept of masking off one face with paraffin, but wonder how to apply it with out wrapping around corners? Also, would sanding be sufficient to remove traces of the paraffin before finishing that face natural?
I just experimented with a water based stain this morning (Minwax) and was displeased. Many years ago, I used a water based stain on oak and was very satisfied, but it was a powder which I mixed myself and sprayed.
My next approach will be an oil based stain. Any suggestions as to brand and where to buy?
Alcohol based stains are new to me. Who sells them and what are their advantages?
Thanks again, Ace
spake:

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This surprises me not at all.

This is likely a dye, which works somewhat differently. That's a good thing.

These are also dyes, just using a different carrier solvent. Water- and alcohol-solvent dyes are packaged by, among others, TransFast (powdered). Dyes in solution are sold under sister label TransTint. Really good info available at www.homesteadfinishing.com.
Woodworking specialty retailers generally have these. Who that would be for you varies regionally somewhat. We are lucky to have both Rockler and Woodcraft, along with a number of excellent independents, in my area.
I forecast less than 100% satisfaction with your experiment with oil stains and hard maple, although you should proceed anyhow.
Patriarch
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I'd try clear finish on the natural face first, maybe 2 coats. Sort of blotted on. Shellac?
Then stain the other 5 sides. Any overrun on the stain can be wiped off before it penetrates the finish.
Then clear finish on all six sides? (What are you gonna set it on while it dries?)
It's still going to be difficult to get a sharp corner where the finishes change. You may have to sand the small overrun of clear finish off the faces to be stained.

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how about finishing (using whatever you're going to use) one face, then dipping that face in a tub of melted paraffin? melt in a double boiler. get it in the canning section of the stupidmarket. sand it down slightly on the 4 vertical faces so you can get all the way to the corner. then just peel off the wax when the staining is done.
regards, charlie cave creek, az http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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